American Spirits: Mike Rowe Pours a Shot of Alcoholic Economic History

SaloonThere are lots of ways to tell the story of America's history; unfortunately, most of them are boring. So when Mike Rowe, host of The Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs and the son of a history teacher, decided to try his hand at telling the tale, the first rule was that his version had to be compelling. His solution? He told the story through the lens of America's love/hate relationship with alcohol.

In his new program, How Booze Built America, Rowe mixes little-known history with economic analysis, puns, and a healthy serving of fermented spirits to explain how the American story is really the tale of one nation's love affair with alcohol. "I'm no James Burke," he admits, referring to the classic BBC history program Connections. "But I wanted to show how history can be cool."

To give a glimpse of the story, here are a few of Rowe's favorite high points from our fermented past:

Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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Good, so when is this program on. You would think that someone would at least mention the time, day and station that the program is airing!

September 28 2012 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kay's comment

Im sure they will re-run it like they do with all the shows, it was on the Discovery Channel, just check ahead to see when its on.

September 28 2012 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched the show, very interesting.

September 28 2012 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Be awesome if he did a show on the people who lost their lives each week due to drugs and alcohol.Stick that camera right into the wreckage so we can see what the TRUE cost of drugs and alcohol use are.Maybe follow around a former college cheerleader,turned dancer,turned drug user,turned escort/turned street walker.Be awesome to see our daughters/former girlfriends working the streets with their pimp cuz they was one of the unlucky ones who couldn't get away because they didnt say no.....something that really glorifies impairment but shows what REALLY happens to some.Hey,how about attending a few funerals each week LIVE!! How great would THAT be? Watch those REAL THATS reality TV!!!. For commercials we could have people speak on how their particular drug of chioce is "harmless" and the government has no right to stop them from using them.Its their right to liberty doncha know? yes Mike,America has a long history with alcohol....mostly bad.Lets not glorify it.

September 27 2012 at 7:52 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jbchartford's comment

do you drink coffee?

September 27 2012 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Get off your soapbox, its just History, you cant change that.

September 28 2012 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

blow me

September 27 2012 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply